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Update on the Tsunoda found in my uncle's garage, lots of photos and questions!

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Update on the Tsunoda found in my uncle's garage, lots of photos and questions!

Old 05-12-20, 11:48 PM
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polymorphself 
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Update on the Tsunoda found in my uncle's garage, lots of photos and questions!

I made a post few months ago inquiring about two bicycles my aunt found in my uncles attic after his passing. One was an Atala and the other turned out to be a Tsunoda. It was hard to tell too much from the pics, other than the Atala was an entry level Corsa model from the 60's and the Tsunoda was likely an entry-mid level bike probably from the early 70s. Well, they've now made their way to me from the Bronx by way of my aunt. The atala is in extremely bad shape, and is just what you would expect from an entry level model of that decade, so I won't even post pics unless somebody cares to see it.

The Tsunoda, however, is very quirky and interesting to me. My uncle toured Mexico on this thing and then road it up the west coast to San Francisco. While I know late 70s-late 80s Japanese bikes and components pretty well, I'm not at all familiar with the brand, and not familiar with a lot of what is on the bike either. In fact, it's hard for me to even discern where in the lineup this would have fallen due to some inconsistencies. Can't tell what is original or what he may have added later on. It's got Shimano stem shifters, turkey levers, a Shimano rear derailleur, front DR says Thunderbird, alloy Araya wheels, an odd light system that he rigged up, cool fenders, a mirror, a pretty and interesting mechanical bottle cage, cotter-less cranks of a variety that I've never seen before, nice gold pin striping on the lugs, two racks that don't match and the front one is odd looking. He clearly had this bike setup for touring just the way he wanted it, despite it not being an actual touring model, but I'm thinking many people back then weren't as keen to look for such a thing and would tour on what they had if it felt right to them. This bike seems very utilitarian and like he really used it the way he wanted and I appreciate that.

Despite it's potential place in a lineup, the frame is quite pretty (The green will shine under all that dust) and seems to be on the lighter side, I enjoy some of the accessories that are on it and I have a handful of Shimano and Suntour groupsets that I could throw on here and it's a little sentimental, so I would like to overhaul it and build it up as commuter with some upgrades. I have a lot of initial questions followed by a lot of photos.

1. Any leads on nailing down the year and model? Catalogs?
2. What appears to have been original (or not) to the bike? Would it have come with stem shifters? If so, Shimano? These fenders? Etc.
3. Any ID for the fenders, front rack, bottle cage and mirror? What's the plastic thing hanging from the handlebars?
4. What is this crankset?
5. It measures seat tube to bb as 23", but appears smaller than my 23" Miyata 310 when they are side by side, and when I stand over it it does seem a tad smaller. The reach is definitely shorter, which I appreciate as I'm a bit too stretched on my Miyata. No question here, just an observation.

There is also a box with random assorted components, and I'm thinking some of these may have been original to the bike, such as the brake levers as they are Japanese branded. The ones current'y on there are "Cherry". Photos of these extras will be at the end and I through in two videos showing the bottle cage and a cool canister of old Schwinn oil.

Thanks all for any thoughts and considerations on this bike. I'm going to get started with the teardown tomorrow but wanted to have as a good of an idea as possible as to what I'm working with here.











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Old 05-12-20, 11:53 PM
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Old 05-12-20, 11:56 PM
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Old 05-13-20, 12:06 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UT8...ature=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjEC...ature=youtu.be

Hm, how do I get these videos to embed into the post?

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Old 05-13-20, 02:16 AM
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The seat loooks like something he would have picked up while in Mexico. They were stock on Windsorís in the 70ís . I have a 1972 Windsor Pro with matching jersey and the jersey is labeled with Lambertini. If you want to get rid of that seat I may be interested. I have never heard of this brand , but appears to be mid to late seventies or late. The Japanese bikes were very nice in those days , yours looks to be in nice shape.
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Old 05-13-20, 05:55 AM
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For me, it definitely brings back memories of 1974. Although we would think of it as entry-level now, it is set-up in a very nice way for that time period. A nice "bike boom" time capsule. I also have an accessorized bike from that time period. Mine has some unique features and is like new. I see alot of bikes, but not many "time capsules". Pretty impressive.
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Old 05-13-20, 07:24 AM
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I wonder if the front rack is a rear rack thatís been bent to attach to the steering stem. The red reflector would support that theory.

Those shift levers are awesome, they look like beer taps!
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Old 05-13-20, 08:31 AM
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Tsunoda was badass
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Old 05-13-20, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
I wonder if the front rack is a rear rack thatís been bent to attach to the steering stem. The red reflector would support that theory.

Those shift levers are awesome, they look like beer taps!
Huh! Good catch! Itís gotta be. Something definitely seemed off about it to me but I didnít think of that.
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Old 05-13-20, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
The seat loooks like something he would have picked up while in Mexico. They were stock on Windsorís in the 70ís . I have a 1972 Windsor Pro with matching jersey and the jersey is labeled with Lambertini. If you want to get rid of that seat I may be interested.
As things progress with it Iíll let you know!
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Old 05-13-20, 09:21 AM
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That front brake caliper looks like what would later be branded "Cherry", if my memories match reality. I had a set on a Bridgestone/C.Itoh in about 1972...
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Old 05-13-20, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
That front brake caliper looks like what would later be branded "Cherry", if my memories match reality. I had a set on a Bridgestone/C.Itoh in about 1972...
Ah, makes sense, as the levers are branded Cherry. So, if original to the bike, this may put it at early 70's or even later 60s, if it weren't being branded as such yet? Would be curious to know if these levers were original, or if the original were the "Arai" levers found in the parts bin.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:36 AM
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Crankset looks like a Sugino Maxy or Super-Maxy. I've worked on lots of Japanese ten speeds that came with that crankset. Possibly Takagi copied the design, I can't find a picture of a Takagi crank in that style but those red-dot bolts come up in ebay searches with descriptions saying "fits sugino maxy takagi sr etc."
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Old 05-13-20, 09:39 AM
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That bike is a trip down memory lane. The light holder is for a wonder light:

A Short Dark Ride Down Memory Lane | | Commute Orlando

Wonder Lights???

I'll bet this bike will make a great utility bike and it has terrific memories.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
That bike is a trip down memory lane. The light holder is for a wonder light:

A Short Dark Ride Down Memory Lane | | Commute Orlando

Wonder Lights???

I'll bet this bike will make a great utility bike and it has terrific memories.
Oh wow, those are neat, if not cumbersome. Kinda makes me want to hunt one down. Thank you.

And yep, utility bike is the plan, I'm glad it fits me.

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Old 05-13-20, 09:44 AM
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I don't think the spare parts you have were original the bike. The Suntour derailleur and shifters are a bit of an upgrade over the Shimano stuff that's on the bike. The Shimano branded downtube housing stop also makes me think the bike originally came with Shimano, that's a part that's unlikely to have been replaced. I'd guess most of those spare parts were taken off of a Fuji and maybe saved to upgrade the Tsunoda. Those Shimano stem shifters are pretty cool though.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by eeuuugh View Post
I don't think the spare parts you have were original the bike. The Suntour derailleur and shifters are a bit of an upgrade over the Shimano stuff that's on the bike. The Shimano branded downtube housing stop also makes me think the bike originally came with Shimano, that's a part that's unlikely to have been replaced. I'd guess most of those spare parts were taken off of a Fuji and maybe saved to upgrade the Tsunoda. Those Shimano stem shifters are pretty cool though.
Gotcha, so these Shimano parts would've been earlier than the Suntour in the box. The Shimano derailleur sure doesn't look too nice, and appears heavy, but I've read that Shimano didn't get great until later on and that Suntour was ahead of them for awhile.
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Old 05-13-20, 10:23 AM
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It looks like this may have been the bike, given the shifters, the fenders and there appear to have been a label on the seat tube of my bike where one is shown here. Made in Korea? Interesting. This person describes the bike as over 30 lbs, but I'm guessing they may not be to keen on bicycle weight. This Tsunoda, with all of these accessories hammered on feels to weigh around 30lbs to me. Certainly less than a Schwinn Varsity (just fixed one up for a friend so the weight is fresh in my mind ).

https://oldtenspeedgallery.com/owner-...oda-ten-speed/
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Old 05-13-20, 10:29 AM
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I thought Tsunoda were the fabricators behind US import brands such as Lotus? and that white plastic bracket on the handlebars was for a lamp...


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Old 05-13-20, 10:33 AM
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If it were me, I'd go with SunTour derailleurs and bar con shifters. I'd also replace the brakes with DiaCompe centerpulls and levers. I'd keep the hub wingnuts, for certain. PG
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Old 05-13-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
If it were me, I'd go with SunTour derailleurs and bar con shifters. I'd also replace the brakes with DiaCompe centerpulls and levers. I'd keep the hub wingnuts, for certain. PG
Funny, I do have an early 70's Nishiki Competition Step Through collecting dust with pretty nice DiaCompe centerpulls on it. I was also considering picking up some bar cons for that, but maybe both will be moved over to this. The Nishiki is quite nice though and is just waiting for brakes and shifters to be mounted...but I'll likely rarely ride it.

I definitely have some suntour derailleurs.

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Old 05-13-20, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by niliraga View Post
I thought Tsunoda were the fabricators behind US import brands such as Lotus?
Yup. My wife's '84 Lotus Eclair has the remnants of a Tsunoda label on the seat tube just above the bottom bracket.

Cool bike! Those shifters...
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Old 05-13-20, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
Yup. My wife's '84 Lotus Eclair has the remnants of a Tsunoda label on the seat tube just above the bottom bracket.

Cool bike! Those shifters...
Tsunoda was the frame builder behind the Lotus Classique, as well. The Centurion Semi-Pro is nearly identical, and handling both frames leads me to believe a connection.
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Old 05-14-20, 09:25 AM
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It's got two front mudguards, fwiw
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